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Descent (A Stone Mountain Mystery Book 1) by [Stanley, Kristina]
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Descent (A Stone Mountain Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in A Stone Mountain Mystery (3 Book Series)
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Length: 267 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Descent is the first in a series of Stone Mountain mysteries. It's an action packed story. Testosterone, stress, dangerous corners and pain lead to murder on the slopes of this remote ski resort. Kalin Thompson, head of security is ordered to investigate by her boss. A growing list of suspects leads Kalin to wonder if the dead Olympic calibre skier got what he deserved.  Descent, a mystery that keeps you riding the lift for one last read and the killer's identity. By Don Graves.  Canadian Mystery Reviews 

 Canadian writer Kristina Stanley has drawn on her personal experience for the latest in her Stone Mountain Mystery Series, Descent. The story follows Kalin Thompson, the head of human resources at a ski resort high in the mountains of British Columbia. Only four days earlier Tom Bennett, the director of security, had suffered a heart attack, and despite immediate medical care he died shortly afterwards. Impressed with Kalin's handling of the situation the owner of the resort, Gavin Reed, calls her into his office and asks her to take over Bennett's role.
 
Several world-class racing teams are at Stone Mountain training for upcoming competitions. A racer on one team, Steve McKenzie, ascends the hill to take a practice run. The surface is hard, making the speeds intentionally fast.  But on his way down one of his boots releases from its binding, and McKenzie crashes, his head slamming hard into the ice-packed surface.
 
Kalin's boyfriend, Ben Tamlin, is head of the mountain's ski patrol, as well as deputy chief of the resort's volunteer fire department. He's on the scene immediately, and confirms that nothing can be done: McKenzie is dead.
 
The team coach is outraged. He threatens to sue the resort, claiming the surface was unsafe. Gavin Reed goes into full damage control: although the RCMP will be looking into McKenzie's death, Reed asks Kalin Thompson to follow the investigation closely and keep him fully informed. Kalin wonders if Reed has more than a professional stake in the outcome.
 
The resort harbors more than its share of secrets. McKenzie had been an experienced racer, unlikely to have misadjusted his bindings; and from the outset there is suspicion that McKenzie's boot had been tampered with. When the RCMP confirms his equipment had been sabotaged suspicion focuses on his ex-girlfriend, Nora Cummings, who had been responsible for tuning his skis. Nora conceals the fact that she's pregnant, and that when she told McKenzie he denied the baby was his and dumped her.
 
Adding further fuel to the wintery fire, we learn that McKenzie had been competing with another local, Jeff Morley, for a spot on the team, as had Gavin Reed's own son, Ian. And a former girlfriend of Ben's, Vicky Hamilton, has suddenly reappeared at the resort and is making no bones about wanting to pick up her relationship with Ben. All in all, Kalin Thompson is quickly learning that both her new job and her personal life are very much up in the air.
 
Descent is a hybrid mystery/romance fiction tale, and sometimes the romantic elements take center stage. Nonetheless it is on the whole a well-crafted, fast-paced tale strengthened by a strong sense of atmosphere and the color provided by an insider's knowledge of the world of ski resorts.
 
Reviewed by Jim Napier, Ottawa Book Review

About the Author

Kristina Stanley is the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her books have garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated her first novel for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated her second novel for the Debut Dagger. She is published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbian mountains. The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort. While writing the first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas. Find out more about her at http://www.KristinaStanley.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 4112 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Imajin Books (July 25, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 25, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01053N6CA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,858 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well thought out novel, easy to read but not simple to figure out who the culprit is. The character development is well done and the plot unravels at the perfect pace. As the novel progresses, we find out more and more details about many of the characters, which brings added suspicion with each new piece of information that is revealed. There are a number of plot twists that keep the novel interesting and the reader unable to determine who the killer is. It is very well written. I read it in from start to finish because it was too good to put down.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It’s been many decades since I worked on a ski patrol team and so reading Descent brought me vicariously back to those days, giving me a fresh look at the administrative and security aspect of running a ski resort. It was also fascinating to learn about the ins and outs of the ruthlessness of coaches and their high caliber skiers in their attempts for a spot in the Olympics.
Reading Descent was like skiing downhill with its twists and turns and mogul bumps along the way. It’s also the kind of mystery you want to curl up and read undisturbed, perhaps next to a fireplace, although I read it during a heat wave and could feel the chill of the ski resort and the icy personalities of some of the characters. The author does an excellent job in creating the ski resort atmosphere.
Descent is filled with more than a handful of well drawn characters and their intriguing relationships with each other. The main character, Kalin Thompson, is the kind of character you’d like to have as a best friend. She is feisty and her insecurity in her new post as mini police chief is endearing.
Besides being a well crafted mystery Descent deals with the complexities of romance and the dynamics of domestic life making it a well rounded read.
In some ways it reminded of a classic whodunit in the Agatha Christie fashion with its plot twists that kept me guessing till the end as to figuring out whodunit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the easy, natural pace of this book and the interesting plot developments. I was especially enchanted by the local color panache that the author brought to the novel. It is obvious that Kristina Stanley has rich experience in her book's setting and successfully makes it a character in the novel, almost leaving the reader with the wistful desire to escape to a beautiful ski town and start anew. The thoughtful crescendoing of the story and well-crafted denouement also make this a mystery novel well worth the undertaking.

Yours in literature,
J.G.C.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was an ok murder mystery. It was a little slow moving and had lots of characters. The setting was a ski resort. And there was some interesting world building about ski racing. The protagonists were likeable enough. The big dramatic reveal about the murderer was kind of eh. Maybe now that the main characters are established, the mystery in book two will be more compelling.

Also the formatting of this book is weird. There is no break on the page or the chapter when the scene and characters change. The story will be about certain characters at a location and the very next paragraph will be different characters at a different place and time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a fun easy read with lots of suspects. Kept me guess "who done it" till near the end when it was revealed in a way that allowed me to feel I was a clever detective for figuring things out! This is a complete story even tho there are a couple more related books by the author, this one wraps up its own story and doesn't make you buy more to find out what happened. I might buy the others just because I enjoyed the read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...Too many close relationships, and eventually someone she knew was going to get hurt." Fine debut mystery with many likeable characters set within the confines of a ski resort. Author clearly has a wealth of knowledge about the world of skiing, and book had an ample amount of twists and turns to keep me interested throughout. Very good book and wouldn't hesitate to read more from this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kristina Stanley brings her ski resort setting to life, giving it the feel of a small town. And like most small towns, the cast of characters all know each other. Which heightens the suspense, once a murder occurs. Central character, Kalin Thompson, who’s just been promoted to oversee security, walks a dangerous path—investigating her friends to catch a killer. I couldn’t put the book down until I found out whodunit. A very enjoyable read.
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Well written and likable, I really liked her independence and loyalty. The boyfriend was awesome too, great story line, intriguing mystery. The setting was amazing and described well. I enjoyed this book a lot.
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